In the midst of heavy speculation regarding the level of activity Pope John Paul II will be able to maintain following his illness and subsequent hospital visit, The Holy See Press Office confirmed today that he will meet with Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.

The Vatican publicized a communique which stated that, "His Holiness John Paul II, readily accepting the kind invitation of Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, president of the Italian Republic, will make an official visit to the presidential palace of the Quirinal on Friday April 29, 2005, feast of St Catherine of Siena, patroness of Italy."